IOC welcomes Taiwan under name 'Chinese Taipei'

11/28/2018 05:40 PM
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Photo courtesy of Kyodo News
Photo courtesy of Kyodo News

Tokyo, Nov. 28 (CNA) International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said Wednesday he welcomes Taiwan to continue to take part in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the name "Chinese Taipei" after a referendum in Taiwan to apply for a name change was rejected.

Bach made the comment before attending an IOC Executive Board meeting after being asked by CNA for his reaction to the result of the referendum, which asked: "Do you agree that Taiwan should apply to participate in all international sporting events and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, using the name 'Taiwan'?"

The question was defeated by a 55-45 percent margin among valid votes cast, with 5.77 million voters opposing it against 4.76 million voters who supported it.

Taiwan has taken part in all editions of the Olympic Games under the name "Chinese Taipei" since 1984 after China refused to allow Taiwan to participate officially as the Republic of China (ROC) in the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal.

It had previously competed in Olympic Games from 1956 to 1972 as the ROC, but did not take part in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics because of disputes of protocol and national recognition.

Taiwan first participated as "Chinese Taipei" at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo after the IOC passed the Nagoya Resolution in 1979, which led to the Lausanne Agreement in 1981 that forced Taiwan to compete under the name "Chinese Taipei and banned its Olympic committee from using the ROC flag or national anthem.

The name change incident stemmed from a political dispute in which Beijing claims Taiwan as part of China's territory waiting to be united.

(By Yang Ming-chu and Flor Wang)

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